Last season, the Washington Nationals enjoyed a 98-64 record and brought MLB fever to the nations capital, as the team was a spectacle to watch all summer long. Although the year ended without a playoff series victory, the club still has plenty to look forward to in 2013.
The #2 spot in the order is solidified by the 2012 Rookie of the Year in Bryce Harper; however, the leadoff spot will have a brand new face. Steve Lombardozzi spent 58 games atop the Nationals lineup in 2012, but it appears he will be replaced by former Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span.
The 28-year old was dealt to the Nationals this November and hopes to use his lead-off prowess in what will be his first professional season away from Minnesota. Span spent 122 of his 128 games leading off for the woeful Twins in 2012 and he didn’t disappoint with a .280 average and a .339 On-Base-Percentage.
Now, the transition to the National League may be a tough one for Span, who has missed 126 games in the last two seasons–he must stay healthy to make an impact in his first year with Washington. I believe Span will bring a much needed dimension to the Nationals offense as he is just two seasons removed from a season with 10 triples and 26 stolen bases. His ability to get on base will be crucial with big bats like Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Laroche lurking later in the order.
With Werth, Harper and now Span patrolling the outfield it will be virtually impossible to go a night without seeing one of them make a great defensive play.